An antique school bus painted Day-Glo orange cuts through the craggy landscape 10 miles west of Denver, blaring dubstep and the gleeful whoops of college-aged music lovers. They’re partying their way up the canyon that leads to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre to see The Chainsmokers, who currently have the No. 1 song in this country and a few others with “Closer,” a swoony EDM-tinged anthem featuring alt-pop heroine Halsey. As the bus climbs, a crumpled can hits the dirt. Cheap beer? Nope. It’s a cocktail in a can, and the sun’s still way up in the September sky.
“We rage every night. My mom’s going to hate reading that,” says Drew Taggart, 26, “but she already knows.” He’s the baby-faced half of the duo — the producer, songwriter and, increasingly, singer of The Chainsmokers. He’s sitting in a massage chair in the venue’s greenroom, sipping tequila from a red cup and chewing on beef jerky. Sitting on the black leather couch next to Taggart: Alex Pall, a 31-year-old with bedhead and neck scruff, whose role is a permutation of DJ, A&R rep (he books the collaborations), art director and bon vivant. “It’s always ‘work hard, play hard,’ ” says Pall after a pull of vodka. “But you’ll never see us getting carried out of a club. We’re way too good at drinking.”
These good-time bros, whose website bio includes the words “17.34 combined inches”(Pall clarifies: “Oh, that’s our penises combined... tip to tip”), are also astoundingly good at making hits. For hugely impressive, far less icky stats than what’s on their website, take a look at “Closer” as it rounds its fourth week atop the BillboardHot 100: five weeks leading the Digital Songs chart with a peak of 208,000 downloads (best for a group since One Direction in August 2015), according to Nielsen Music; four weeks dominating Streaming Songs with a 40.5 million-click peak (only the fifth track to reach 40 million in a week); and No. 9, and climbing, on Radio Songs. “Closer” will be their third title to go double-platinum in 2016, following “Roses” and the euphoric trap-pop gem “Don’t Let Me Down.”
Read the full article by Chris Martins at Billboard.com